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Tian Heong Chan - Emory University, Goizueta Business School. Atlanta, GA, US

Tian Heong Chan

Associate Professor of Information Systems & Operations Management | Emory University, Goizueta Business School







Leveraging User Innovation - Business over Breakfast




Tian Chan joined Goizueta after completing his PhD in Technology and Operations Management from INSEAD. He also holds a MS degree in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford, and a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley. Previously he led technology and operations development projects at PSA International. His current research focuses on how collaboration between producers and consumers can generate or hinder innovation.

Education (3)

INSEAD: PhD, Technology and Operations Management 2016

Stanford University: MS, Management Science and Engineering 2003

University of California, Berkeley: BS, Mechanical Engineering 2002

Areas of Expertise (5)

Operational Innovation

Product Development

Service Management

User Innovation

Data Analytics

Publications (4)

Business Method Innovation in US Manufacturing and Trade

Manufacturing & Service Operations Management

T. H. Chan, A. Bharadwaj, D. Varadarajan


Anchored Differentiation: The Role of Temporal Distance in the Comparison and Evaluation of New Product Designs

Organization Science

T. H. Chan, Y. G. Lee, H. J. Jung


The Emergence of Novel Product Uses: An Investigation of Exaptations in IKEA Hacks

Management Science

T. H. Chan, S.-Y. Lim


Revisiting the Role of Collaboration in Creating Breakthrough Inventions

Manufacturing & Service Operations Management

T. H. Chan, J. Mihm, M. Sosa


Research Spotlight

In the News (4)

Unpacking the Innovation Process

Emory Business  online


Have you ever looked at a table or chair, stool, or other household item and thought, “I can use this another way”? If you have, you might be an innovative hacker, someone who operates from a product-first search process, which is the opposite of the “classic” problem-solving method. Tian Chan, assistant professor of information systems and operation management, worked with long-time friend and fellow researcher, Shi-Ying Lim, assistant professor of information systems and analytics at the National University of Singapore, to see if starting with a product generates more novelty (or uniqueness).

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Most & Least Innovative States

WalletHub  online


How can state policymakers encourage and facilitate innovation? Innovation tends to have significantly positive geographical spillovers (meaning firms, institutions, or individuals at close locations benefit from frequent collaborations, sharing of ideas, etc.). So fostering/encouraging some kind of innovation hub (if none or few exist in the state) whereby such positive benefits of co-location can happen would be a good start. I also think that the presence of maker spaces or coding spaces where young kids can play and tinker with building products/software codes is useful to encourage innovation from a young age.

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Successful products need to stand out … just not too much

Resoundingly Human  online


Joining me to share their research in this area is Yonghoon Lee with The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Tian Chan with Emory University. Their study, “Anchored Differentiation: The Role of Temporal Distance in the Comparison and Evaluation of New Product Designs,” selected for publication in the INFORMS journal Organization Science, looks at how consumers evaluate new product designs and how this can benefit product designers.

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When Individuals Are More Innovative Than Teams

Harvard Business Review  online


"...However, our research has uncovered a factor that plays a key role in determining whether team outcomes will be superior to those of lone inventors: the structure of the invention — that is, the extent to which the invention can be broken down into separate components or 'modules.'"

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